Hazmat Incident At Ft. Myer: Marines Ill After Opening “Suspicious Letter”

    Eleven people fell ill, including several marines, and three were taken to the hospital after a letter containing an unknown substance was opened in an administrative office at Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall building 29 in Ft. Meyer, Virginia. The hospitalized employees are listed in stable condition, while the remaining victims have been decontaminated by a hazardous materials team.

    Initial reports suggest that a certified letter was opened in one of the buildings and that it contained some sort of potentially hazardous substance, prompting an evacuation of the building and the deployment of an emergency decontamination station.

    The U.S. Marines said in a tweet that personnel “took immediate preventative measures” by evacuating the building.

    A Marine Corps official released a statement saying that the base was coordinating with the FBI. The full statement is below:

    An envelope containing an unknown substance was received, today, aboard Joint Base Ft. Myer-Henderson Hall. Personnel in the affected building took immediate preventative measures by evacuating the building. Base officials are coordinating with local hazmat teams and the FBI. Several Marines are receiving medical care as a result of this incident.

    National news media has gathered outside of the base in Arlington’s Foxcroft Heights neighborhood to report on the story, arlnow.com reported.

    Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), meanwhile, said via Twitter that he is “closely following the situation.”

    During the incident police closed off the road near the entrance to Henderson Hall, at the intersection of S. Orme Street and Southgate Road.

    As arlnow adds, firefighters were first dispatched to Henderson Hall, the headquarters of the U.S. Marine Corps, just after 4:30 p.m. for a hazmat call. Ft. Myer, Arlington County and Alexandria firefighters and hazmat units are all on scene, as is an “EMS task force” that is usually dispatched to mass casualty incidents.



    According to NBC News, a gunnery sergeant opened the letter and showed it to a superior, who both began to feel ill – a Pentagon official reported. 

    A hazmat team along with Arlington Fire are investigating the incident. 

    According to a statement from the U.S. Marines, a colonel took “preventative measures” and ordered the building evacuated. 

    “Several Marines are receiving medical care as a result of this incident,” they added.

    The suspicious substance has been taken away by authorities, while the FBI is making their way to the scene.




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